Daily News

Westfield State Honors Westfield Educator

WESTFIELD — Westfield State alumna Jessica Kennedy, assistant principal at South Middle School in Westfield, was one of eight educators to receive the Massachusetts State Universities Alumni Recognition Award for 2014. The State Universities of Massachusetts honored eight of the Commonwealth’s outstanding K-12 educators who graduated from the system’s teacher preparation programs in a ceremony held in Boston on Tuesday. Kennedy was selected by Westfield State University in recognition of her accomplishments as a teacher and as a role model for students for service to the community. “Jessica Kennedy reflects the very best of Westfield State and the State University system, which has a proud tradition of developing and graduating educators of excellence,” said Elizabeth H. Preston, president of Westfield State University. “Jessica is deeply dedicated to helping students achieve more and reach higher, leading to stronger schools and communities in the Commonwealth.” Kennedy received her B.A. and M.A. at Westfield State in 2008 and 2010. Her first teaching job was as an English teacher at Powder Mill Middle School in Southwick, where she also served as mentor teacher, team leader, and pre-advanced placement lead teacher. In 2013, she was hired as assistant principal at South Middle School. Kennedy was nominated by Susan Dargie, director of Curriculum and Instruction at Westfield Public Schools. Dargie said that Kennedy has made quite the impression during her first year as assistant principal. “Jessica possesses the unbeatable combination of supportive supervision and true enthusiasm for the work that makes her an effective administrator,” Dargie said. “It is clear that Jessica is a rising star that will continue to have a positive impact on students for years to come.”